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The New and Improved Super Mom

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The new and improved Super Momma says “Whoops, Mommy Brain!“ and laughs out loud.  She knows mommy brain is a mega super conscious quantum tool that is reminding her to ‘do less.’

The new and improved Super Momma looks at her unbalanced dinner, adds slices of apple to each plate and says, “Good enough.”

The new and improved Super Momma has a laundry room with a door, and the clean clothes are in a clean pile most of the time. She might have baskets she and the kids playfully and haphazardly sort the clothes into in a very basketball game-like way. Or not.

If the Super Momma is going to fold clothes, she’ll do it on the couch watching a favourite movie or when someone has come for tea… guests will usually start helping.

The new and improved Super Momma puts ‘Ditto” up in lights on their home that is next door to an extravagant Christmas light display. In Spring, she posts a ditto sign in her one thriving shrub, pointed towards her neighbours fully landscaped, tweezer pruned yard.

The new and improved Super Momma  yells, “Honey I shrunk the kids!” after hiding the kids in a closet, and takes one moment to give her husband a passionate kiss before the evening chaos begins, and calls that ‘relationship connection’ done.

The new and improved Super momma goes to yoga. If she likes yoga.  But sometimes Mommy Brain kicks in and she ends up at a coffee shop instead, sipping lattes and reading a good book. “Sheesh, how did that happen?”  she wonders.

The new and improve Super Momma plays with her kids doing the thing she loves. And if Playmobil and Trucks on the floor are not her thing, she calls that type of play ‘the children’s independent playtime.’

The new and improved Super Momma picks one night a month to do things she wants. She knows Full Moon is a good choice; family be can more easily convinced to support her outing because Full Moon can make people act oddly and they wouldn’t want to mess that. Not only that, if her family happens to be the ones acting oddly during full moon, she gets to escape.

The new and improved Super Momma looks at her kid/s and says out loud, “Dang, you are precious!” even when they are dressed funny, the felt pen won’t wash off, and they’ve been whiny all morning. She notices she just feels good saying it. That, and she loves watching the older kids’ bewilderment when they know they weren’t being all that precious.

The new and improved Super Momma passes the buck. When it’s hard for the kids to do their chores or homework, she makes a habit of asking them “How can you make this fun?”  and then she trusts that the children have an inner wisdom and innate playful creative side and they can come up with an answer.

The new and improved Super Momma doesn’t go crazy cleaning up for guests.  She doesn’t want her guests to miss an opportunity to really get to know her.  She serves tea besides the laundry mess and says, “Tea? Towel?”

The new and improved Super Momma enjoys creating her and her family’s life by design rather than default and in finding ways to do that, she gravitates toward “simple and do-able.”

The new and improved Super Momma models ‘doing things differently’ proudly, knowing the ‘old ways of the 50’s to 2017’s caused overwhelmed, over-guilted, under –funned  mommas.

The new and improved Super Momma models imperfection proudly, knowing she is changing the world one small imperfection at a time.

By Janet L.Whitehead

Originally written for Kamloops Momma Feb 2012

Professional Life Coach, Master Creativity Coach, and clearly an advocate for Moms


The Art of Deadlines

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This is what a deadline looks like:

If not for a group of friends who randomly agreed to take the gallery space for a show, when the original artist was no longer available, well, none of these would have happened. We learned about the opportunity in November and it was almost a no-brainer that we would say yes. Each of us already know that there’s nothing quite like a deadline to make sure we make stuff.

The Muse Guild’s ‘Muses and Mysteries’ show opens tomorrow night. And yes, all 12 of us made stuff.

I can’t count how many times I’ve coached a creative soul – performer or visual artist – and suggested, “What if you just book a show?” Initially they kind of freak out; “But I need a body of work!”

Well, no, you need a deadline.  You can be pretty sure the elusive-until-now, body of work, will happen.

Thinking about it, it might be the only way I’ve created: Announcing my home shows, booking an art show, off the cuff announcing what I would create when asked by a curator what I would make if I had a space in their gallery…. hmm.. yup, always a deadline.

My book? My client’s books? No, booking a Book Release Party before writing the book hasn’t happened. But, just a sec, those books, they take a long time to write. I wonder, would booking a Book Release Party before the book was done speed up the process?  Damn, I think I’ll try that!

My Dirty Kitchen.

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Came across this article I wrote a while back. It’s worthy of sharing again, I think!

I hope my grandchildren will always be able to imagine many perspectives of the same situation, that they learn not to be judgmental, and that they learn to consider many possibilities. Quite simply, I hope they remain the creative thinkers that they are born to be.  And I hope that one day my grandchild tells the story of “The Dirty Kitchen” revealing how her Nana is incredibly amazing and creative. I hope that the idea that her Nana might be a slob doesn’t even cross her mind. Storytelling is the key to this one and it goes a bit like this:

dirty kitchen story image

Once upon a time there was a very dirty kitchen. “Oh my!” the kitchen cried out as they watched their homeowner slip out the door balancing a baby shower cake, “she left us! We are the messiest dirtiest stickiest kitchen ever!”  

“We need help,” announced the pots and pans in a very tinny sort of voice.

They opened the window and the faeries flew in exclaiming, “We’ll help!” 

“Is our homeowner a slob?” asked the teeniest tiny of the sticky forks.

“No, no,” answered the faeries, “she’s been very busy with making things and with people and workshops and, topping it off, with making a fancy dancy baby shower cake.. well, she just hasn’t had time to clean you up.”

“I’m happy to be part of her fun and imagination and creative play!” admits the icing coated counter top. The rest of the kitchen, including the dirty dusty dog print covered floor, cheers.

And so the faeries with a wave of their wand fill the sink with soapy warm water. The gluey gooey pot leaps in and does a little jig that sounds like this: kaswish kaswoosh. The faeries rinse him off and magically dry him and plop he finds his place in the cupboard.   

The story does go on and on as each character in the kitchen gets swept, washed, or wiped with the grand finale that the homeowner comes home, with her little granddaughter in tow, to find a lovely clean kitchen.

Easy to guess how this story began.  Even I was a bit shocked when I looked at my kitchen as my granddaughter said, “oh, the kitchen is very dirty.”  Pretty bad when a 3 year old notices. I could have succumbed to feeling like an incompetent housekeeper, but the more valuable and truthful perspective was that I had in fact pulled off some wonderful things in just a couple of days. I admit I was partially inspired by not wanting her to tell everyone “My Nana has a very dirty kitchen” in the same way she told EVERYONE “My Nana smashed into Auntie’s car.”  I thought it would be better for my granddaughter to consider how the kitchen came to be so dirty and our storytelling adventure of “The Dirty Kitchen” evolved.  In creating the story together I’d asked my granddaughter “why was the homeowner soooo busy that she didn’t get to clean the kitchen?’   It was a joy to watch her think that through and name all the things her Nana does. The story inspired both of us to clean the kitchen and it has since become one of her favourite bedtime stories at Nana’s house.

Storytelling is a great way to introduce new perspectives that focus on ‘what’s right’ instead of ‘what’s wrong’, encourage imagination and of course, feel better about a dirty kitchen.  All you have to do is say “Once upon a time there was (include topic)” and whisper to your child, “what happens next?”

by Janet L Whitehead  –  copyright 2012, 2017

Miracles: Art creating itself.

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23826140_10155914672615891_6496158457849454641_oThis happened today.  I did not make it. It made itself.  My yupo paper was tucked upright in the side of a container, along
with my alcohol inks. Today I got the container out and noticed the red alcohol ink container had leaked.

Imagine my astounded surprise when I pulled out the yupo paper and this is what I found.

I have no explanation for why the ink creeped UPwards on the paper, nor why it dried so beautifully, nor why it chose to create a series of dragons and other critters. I do know a book is going to happen from this!!

Ah, the miracle of it all.  I hope art creates itself for me more often.

ps. I’m crazy happy to announce good things happening in my creative world. Of course, it’s not all this kind of miracle – though, sometimes when I get to work with people, we do see some pretty profound magic.  

One good thing?  New business evolution. Please stop by my new coaching, courses and community site  –   It’s still in progress but I’m excited about the courses and community that will begin in January.  There’s a place to sign up for my as always infrequent newsletter if you’d like to stay updated and inspired!  Maybe we can work on getting your art to create itself too. 

Musings and Mud still exists in a whole brand new way – my written works and art projects and meanderings and faeries have their own space. It’s kind of fun to have a space just for that.

Another good thing?  I’ve donated my pottery studio to Kamloops Makerspace – a fantastic place full of creative and innovative people and things.  I’ve been teaching classes, new and experienced potters are getting to hang  out and inspire each other, as well as with techies, carpenters, wood carvers, electricians, digital artists, fabric artists, etc etc. It’s crazy amazing. Kamloops Makerspace.  If you aren’t from around town, Makerspaces are popping up world wide. There might be one in your community, or perhaps you’ll be the one to get one going!  

Building a stronger, braver, more fun brain.

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I’ve just posted a number of alcohol ink items I’ve recently made, to the photo gallery on my new Musings and Mud site. This is funnier than hell. Who posts beginner pieces of art on their website?  Me, apparently.

Maybe this can inspire you, and keep reminding me, to be okay with being a ‘janet of all trades.’ To be okay with experimenting in new mediums that may never make you money, that may never make you famous, that may never ever ever get posted on the Alcohol Ink community on Facebook. (Have you seen the extraordinary work of those people? Oh. My.)

There was no plan. Just pour and move inks. But, wait! There’s a ship! There’s legs!

(I know some of the pieces look decent in the photos. The pendants. But, trust me, they aren’t that great. This was one of those rare occasions where the artwork photographs better than in real life.)

But, oh my gom, the joys of beginner’s mind!  
“Have ink. Have paper. Have brass.
Oh, look how that colour mixes.
Oh my god, stop! Stop flowing that way!
Oh look at how beautiful areas are when they dry. So unexpected.
A little more gold. Oops.
Thank goodness nobody is ever going to see this.
This is fun!

No, no, don’t use your fingers.
No, don’t wipe them on your once favourite hoodie. (now officially ruined.)  
Oh, wait, this is beautiful.
I could pour a little alcohol here… cool!  It makes distinct lines… “

Okay, you know the routine. You’ve been there, right? I got to escape into colour and flow and creative thinking. Just a break from the day. Wrong. This process does SO MUCH MORE than give you a break!
This process keeps the door open for our whole mind to function better.

First it lifts our spirits.
Often it lets in humour.
Then the naysayer part of our mind steps aside, thinking: ‘Whatever – she’s just playing.”
Next the rest of our mind starts firing with all kinds of new connections and ideas.
All of that doesn’t stop when you stop creating.

Our logical mind is, well, logical. It is busy helping us make decisions that it thinks keeps us safe. It runs on what it knows from the past and will purr along repeating the same old shi.. stuff as we go through our day.

It needs reminders that we can think differently. That we can make new connections and find new ways. If it’s hard for you to justify creating, and especially justifying making stuff in new mediums, you could remind yourself that you are retraining your brain. Giving it a good ol’ workout. Building a stronger, braver, more fun brain. The logical brain likes that kind of talk and will be more supportive.

And for me, as per my memoir, Beyond All Imaginings, it keeps me open to the magic that exists in our world.

Beyond All Imaginings – Phew!

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bai-front-coverPhew!  Beyond All Imaginings, my wildly magical memoir is published. It’s been a work in progress for quite some time. And some of that work in progress was my mind asking, “Really, Janet? Are you really going to share your story with the world?”

But then, last year, I was nagged/haunted/obsessed with the idea that it was time to put the story out into the world.  It wasn’t easy. After all, there will be some who will think me crazy. Or so I thought, anyway.

So far, nobody has claimed  me ‘crazy,’ though I suspect someone will and that’s okay now because the book is out there, doing more than I could have imagined.  Beyond All Imaginings is just my story, but it is opening doors of possibilities for others. I get teary at the beautiful stories and reviews shared back from readers.

I get teary at the synchronicities that are happening for readers, and for me as I sign personal copies. Magical connections are continuing beyond the story itself, it appears. It’s like the book has taken on a life of it’s own and I get to be a spectator.

I’m not the best at promoting (have you noticed?) – but I am very grateful this story got told and I can share it. Especially right now, when the world needs a little more magic.  Right now, if we can all open that door just a little more, perhaps we can start to make things going wrong in the world right.

What’s the story about? I’ve still not come up with an ‘in a nutshell’ synopsis. So I’m sharing the back cover story…  

This is the true story of magic and altering time and people who died and beings who introduced themselves as faeries… and this is a story of pottery.
It’s about smashed fingers, smashed dreams, smashed faeries and the value of throwing up your arms and saying “whatever.”
It’s about impossible things being possible and Rolling Stones playing on unplugged radios.
It’s about the tragic loss of loved ones and the heart-wrenching grief; and the magic of faerie-like beings showing up in my clay, on my pages, and in my home – which they did very much to my dismay, at least at first.
And a mystery; these same faeries insist on blowing themselves up!
This is the story that blurs your boundaries between reality and fantasy and leaves you wishing you could find your way into my world, albeit without the tragedies.
As you can imagine, this has not been a simple story to write. Hell, if it were fantasy it would have been easy… but this is my life.

Curious? Click here to read ‘inside’ on your favourite Amazon site.  Oh heck, I’ll share some reviews below.

If this story is calling to you and you might like a personally signed copy, please send me a message.


St. Nicholas, Patron Saint of Children and Sailors

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Wishes for You this Christmas…

christmas ship copyright jlwThe stories say St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children and sailors. As the magical fella circumnavigates the world tonight, may your childlike heart and your adventurous soul be blessed.

Like a sailor on her watch, may you be especially attuned to the precious moments that surround you.

May you toss all unkind thoughts overboard, especially those you say to yourself, to lighten your ship, setting you free to sail wherever you wish to be.

And, especially, if things feel a little stormy, I wish you a peaceful energy that fills your sails with
comfort as you remember those not with you or as you navigate through changes that feel a little harder this time of year.

(Psst…St. Nick, sprinkle these special people with an extra dose of child-like magic and playfulness to brighten their holidays even more than they imagined possible. Thanks.)
He’s very good at that, you know.
Merry Christmas!  Yo Ho Ho!

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